Hillary Clinton may be the country’s strongest Democratic politician, in some ways even stronger than the president.
Clinton stepped to the side — some would say she was pushed — to allow Barack Obama to lead the party to a sweeping victory in 2008. Her ability to show earnest respect for Obama over the last four years has made her followers even more loyal.
And as what may have been the most rancorous election cycle in recent memory unfolded, Clinton’s personal image floated above it all like a big balloon. She’s been in plain sight the whole time, but never down in the dirty fight.
What we saw was Hillary working. If she wasn’t in another country, she was either leaving or returning from one. Against the capital backdrop, much of it consumed by political nonsense and maneuvering to block Obama, Clinton has had a real job and she’s done it well.
While she’s said on numerous occasions that she’s not going to run for president again in 2016, there’s plenty of speculation that she might give it another go. And if she does, it won’t be a good day for Vice President Joe Biden or a lot of Republicans.
Yesterday, Clinton filleted some Republican leaders at a hearing concerning the deadly attack on a US mission in Benghazi. Chris Stevens, who was the US ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed.
It’s been clear since the tragedy occurred that many Republicans aren't the least bit interested in learning what went wrong that day, and how to prevent it from happening again. Rather Republicans have turned it into a wholesale opportunity to try and derail the high-speed train that appears to be headed straight for them.
In her five-and-a-half hour testimony, Clinton accepted responsibility for what happened in Benghazi, and she flatly rejected the suggestion that the Obama administration misled the public for political gain right before the election. She also had a tense exchange with Republican Senator Ron Johnson, exposing the pettiness of some of the questioning.
But it was the always imaginative Republican Senator Rand Paul who showed real naiveté, saying had he been president he would have fired Clinton.
President Rand Paul? That'll be the day.